Brooks Koepka Wins Second Straight US Open Championship

On a day that the USGA vowed to the players and the media they would make the course more accepting and playable.  It would be Brooks Koepka that would win his second straight U.S. Open, this time grinding out a win over Dustin Johnson.

Koepka is now one of seven players In history to repeat at the U.S. Open, the most recent being Curtis Strange in 1988-89.

The USGA did everything they could to make the course more playable today and it turned into some really good early scores and even some good later scores. The pins were in places that were attainable and on greens that were more receptive.

There were many good scores today including a record-breaking round by Tommy Fleetwood who shot a seven-over par 63, leaping 21 spots in the leaderboard to eventually finish in second.  It was the second year in a row that Fleetwood would fall just short, after finishing in fourth place last year.

Fleetwood’s round made him the sixth golfer in history to shoot a 63 at the U.S. Open. He joins Justin Thomas (2017), Vijay Singh (2003), Tom Weiskopf (1980), Jack Nicklaus (1980) and Johnny Miller (1973).

This year’s Masters Winner Patrick Reed, would fight his way back into contention with a front-nine score of 31, recording five birdies in the opening seven holes, but some early back-nine miscues and missed opportunities down the stretch caused him to place fourth.

Koepka would stay consistent and shoot a 2-under round to finish at +1 for the tournament for the win. He was the first player to win the tournament over-par since Justin Rose in 2013. He is also the fifth player since 1934 to win two U.S. Opens under the age of 30.

We saw both Johnson and Koepka battle throughout the day and it was Dustin that played tentatively.  Koepka was arrogant, nearly defiant with his opinion after his second round stating that someone would have to rip the trophy away from him.

His confidence in his game is extreme, and it showed in the last couple of days. With that said, that confidence was well warranted.

Dustin Johnson would not take advantage of the opportunities he had and would finish +3 for the tournament and even on the day.

Obviously the winner of the U.S. Open wins a great paycheck, along with the championship trophy, but this is what else comes with a US Open Victory.

  • 10-year U.S. Open exemption
  • 600 FedExCup points and a five-year exemption to the PGA TOUR
  • Invitation to the next five Masters Tournaments
  • Invitation to the next five Open Championships
  • Invitation to the next five PGA Championships
  • Invitation to the next five THE PLAYERS Championships

Tony Finau came into the round tied for the lead, but finished fifth.

I am likely in the minority but as a whole, the USGA did just fine this week.  =Saturday was shaky, but the course played hard and in the end produced an over-par winner.  Today was a good day, one the USGA can take pride in after the struggle yesterday.

As for the takeaway,  the USGA needs to replicate this, only with a not so extreme day three.  The U.S. Open is supposed to be hard, and it was. Time to move on an start to prepare for the #OpenChampionship!

Author: Jhavelka